The Rain in Spain

In case any of you were feeling a little envious about our globe trotting exploits, especially now the figures about commuting have been shown to be false, I am happy to tell you that it is raining cats and dogs, and bulls, probably. Bulls, in case you were wondering, because we are in Madrid. I’m sure there is a famous song about rain in Spain but with all this Bruckner going round my head, I seem to have mislaid it. I expect it will come back to me on the plane home.

We arrived here yesterday from Lisbon after performing Bruckner 6 and Schubert’s Unfinished symphony. The concert hall there looks like an old bull ring, maybe it is. The acoustics aren’t particularly helpful for the pieces we played, but it was s good concert none the less. The hall in Madrid is wonderful with a, rare, nice backstage area which provides us with espresso strong enough to wake the dead, which is how some of us are feeling in a very busy year of touring. Sir Colin has been feeling a little off colour, and as a result has been provided with stool for the concert. I have never seen him conduct sitting down in a concert before. Tonight is no exception, he sits down for the first few bars, but cannot resist standing up at the first climax, which is in about bar 20. Every now and then he remembers to sit down, but is soon on his feet again! He drives the scherzo along with such energy, I half expected him to kick the stool off the stage like a classical Jerry Lee Lewis. Well, he is man of the year you know!

After the show, I had a quiet drink with Joost our second bassoonist, where we managed to put the world to rights in under two hours, a new world record for us.

Today is one of those luxurious days which don’t happen very often. We don’t have to work until the concert. A free day in Madrid has meant not having to set the alarm(most welcome) and a trip to the Prado Museum to see the Goya exhibition. With all the death and destruction in his work, it was very pleasant to come out blinking in the sunshine. I took full advantage and sat outside on my own in a pavement cafe, eating tortilla and reading a book for an hour. As a busy father of three, this is a guilty pleasure which I enjoyed immensely!

So now I am back in my room getting ready for the Bruckner 6 concert later, and then home tomorrow morning.

Any questions, you know where I am.

About LSO

The London Symphony Orchestra is one of the world's top orchestras. Our home is at the Barbican Centre in the City of London where we play over 80 concerts every year, but we also spend quite a bit of time out on the road, touring all over the world. Recently we have toured to Germany, France, Russia, New York, Japan, Holland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Lithuania; and coming up this year are China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, Florida, Romania and a return visit to New York, where we are resident at the Lincoln Center.
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